This past Saturday night in NCAA Football Week 3 action we saw the No. 2 Oregon Ducks (1st Pac 12 North, 4-0 SU) play the unranked Washington State Cougars (2nd Pac 12 North, 1-3 SU). and the Ducks were favored by 23 ½ points. Needless to say they did not cover the spread, with these two teams ranked as two of the top offenses in the country. The final score was Oregon 38, Washington State 31.
The game was played at the Martin Stadium in Pullman, Washington and was on ESPN TV as the Ducks held off the Cougars to win the game 38-31 behind the play of their QB Mariota who threw for 329 yards and 5 touchdowns in the game, and stays in Heisman Trophy contention. He also carried the ball 13 times for 58 yards, but unfortunately was sacked seven times in the game.
In the Heisman watch, QB Mariota of Oregon is now No. 1, RB Gurley of Georgia No. 2, QB Winston of FSU is No. 3, QB Hill of Texas A&M No. 4, and No. 5 is QB Everett Golson of Notre Dame.
Interesting that in this game the overall top performing players were the Cougars QB Halliday whom passed for 436 yards and 4 touchdowns. Leading rusher was RB Freeman of the Ducks who had 20 carries for 75 yards while the top receiver in the game was the Ducks Allen who caught 7 passes for 142 yards and scored 2 touchdowns.
They claim in the Pac 12 the road games are always difficult especially with a team like the Cougars who had the game tied at half time 21-21, but the Ducks rattled the Cougar defense in the second half and rallied to beat Washington State for the eighth straight time.
The Washington State Cougars who entered this game as the nation’s leading passing attack kept the game very close and entertaining as their QB Halliday passed for 63 times, completing 43 for some 436 yards and the Cougars actually had 29 first downs to the Ducks 26, and 499 total yards to the Ducks 501, while passing for 436 yards to the Ducks 329 yards, and rushed for 63 yards while the Ducks rushed for 170 yards. In the first half of the game the Cougars defense sacked the Ducks QB Mariota five times and they had seven tackles that resulted in losses and allowed the Ducks a total of 210 yards in the first half and as mentioned early the score was tied 21-21 at half. But in the second half the offense of the Cougars disappeared and Oregon outscores the Cougars 17-10 to take the win.
On the first drive of the second half the Ducks missed a 32 yard field goal, but then recovered a fumble on its 35 yard line and on fourth down QB Mariota ran for 28 yards to the 8 yard line, then threw a TD pass on t he next play to for a 28-21 lead late in the third.
Early in the fourth the Cougars had an 87 yard drive that resulted in a 30 yard field goal and brought them to within 4 points at 28-24 early in the fourth. Then the Duck rushed down the field to the Cougars 17 and they kicked a 34 yard field goal to make it Oregon 31-24. Cougar QB Halliday then led 75 yard drive that included a 54 yard pass to WR Morrow and then threw a 5 yard pass to Cracraft in the end zone and the score is 31-31 with 8 minutes left in the game.
With the game winding down the Ducks rallied in a 79 yard drive if nine plays ending with a 6 yard TD pass to TE Lowe and the score now 38-31 with 5:30 in the 4th quarter. The Cougars tried one more time to tie the game as QB Halliday passed a 34 yarder to Mayle to the Oregon 34 yard line and then the Ducks defense stopped the Cougars and took the ball over on downs with 2 minutes left in the game and for the most part that ended the game.
For the fans that bet on college football with your local bookie or at a Sportbook like SBG Global watch future odds on the Ducks and the Cougars as these two teams may still fight it out in the Pac 12.